Man-Thing (film)

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Directed by Brett Leonard
Produced by
Written by Hans Rodionoff
Based on Man-Thing 
Music by Roger Mason
Cinematography Steve Arnold
Edited by Martin Connor
Lions Gate Films
Artisan Entertainment
Fierce Entertainment
Marvel Enterprises
Screenland Movieworld
Distributed by Lions Gate Films
Release dates
Running time
97 minutes
  • United States
  • Germany
  • Australia
Language English
Budget $7.5 million[1]
Box office $1.1 million[2]

Man-Thing (also known as Man-Thing: The Nature of Fear) is a 2005 Australian-American horror film, directed by Brett Leonard and featuring the Marvel Comics swamp creature Man-Thing created by Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, and Gerry Conway. The plot is based on a storyline by Steve Gerber, who wrote the best-known series of Man-Thing comics. Agents of an oil tycoon vanish while exploring a swamp marked for drilling. The local sheriff investigates and faces a Seminole legend come to life: Man-Thing, a shambling swamp-monster.

The film appeared on the Sci Fi Channel in 2005 under the Sci Fi Pictures label. It starred Matthew Le Nevez, Rachael Taylor, and Jack Thompson. The film was released theatrically in a handful of International markets. The film was a box office bomb grossing only $1 million and received generally negative reviews from some critics, and was considered by many to be list of film considered the worst and to the worst film ever made by Marvel Entertainment[3]


At Dark Waters, a Native American sacred land containing an enigmatic swamp spirit, a teenager is murdered by a plant-like monster. The following day, young replacement sheriff Kyle Williams reaches Bywater and meets with deputy sheriff Fraser, who tells him the previous sheriff is among 47 missing persons since oil tycoon Fred Schist bought the ancient tribal lands from shaman and Seminole chieftain Ted Sallis, the first to disappear. Schist claimed Sallis had sold legally and escaped with the money, and asked the sheriff for help: Local protestors opposed his perfectly legal activities, and mestizo scoundrel Renee Laroque was sabotaging his facilities. Williams investigated this while trying to find an explanation for the missing people, some of which were found brutally murdered with plants growing from inside their bodies. Photographer Mike Ploog and shaman Pete Horn tell Williams local legends about the guardian spirit, suggesting that it could be real.

As sabotage and murder continue, Williams investigates the swamp with Fraser and finds the previous sheriff's corpse. Medical examiner Val Mayerik admits that the previous sheriff had ordered him to file the deaths as alligator attacks, even if Mayerik believed otherwise.

Williams and Fraser try to track Laroque, who lives in the swamp, by using a canoe. At the same time, Schist sends local thugs the Thibadeux brothers to track and murder Laroque. The monster in the swamp finds the Thibadeux and kills them. Williams is ensnared by Laroque, who admits having helped Schist buy the lands, but then claims that Sallis opposed to the sale; Laroque insists that the guardian spirit would keep on murdering until Schists stops desecrating the sacred swamp. Fraser tries to help Laroque, but the Man-Thing timely appears and murders Fraser; Laroque knocks Williams down and escapes. Williams wakes up and finds Ploog, who has blurry pictures of the monster; the sheriff seizes the photographs and forbids Ploog to come back to the swamp.

The following day, Williams interviews Horn and Schist, with schoolteacher Teri Richards' help, for whom he starts having romantic feelings. Horn goes to the swamp and tries to stop the Man-Thing with prayers and sacrificing his life but, although the monster kills Horn, he is not affected. That night, Mayerik autopsies the old sheriff and finds a bullet. He tries to tell Williams, but he is back at the swamp, unreachable; he tells Richards, and she goes to the swamp to tell Williams. Meanwhile, Ploog had returned to the swamp, trying to get a picture of the monster, but instead he startles Fred Schist, who was in the swamp to murder Laroque – Schist shoots and kills Ploog. Soon afterward, Laroque ambushes and defeats Schist's son and minion Jake.

Williams finds Ploog's corpse and reasons that Schist murdered Ploog. He then meets Richards, who tells him about Mayerik's autopsy. Williams concludes that Schist is guilty of several murders, trying to incriminate Laroque simply to avoid punishment – in fact, by Schist's confession to Laroque, he murdered Sallis and buried him in Dark Waters (which, due to the magic embedded in the soil, made him go back as the Man-Thing). Richards reveals that she can guide him to Laroque's lair but the Man-Thing starts chasing them. He chases them to the drilling tower at Dark Waters, where Schist is leveling his weapon at Laroque in an attempt to prevent Laroque to blow it away with dynamite. Laroque nonetheless tries to detonate his bomb and is shot and wounded by Schist; Schist then wounds Williams.

However, the Man-Thing arrives and brutally murders Schist by filling his body with oil. Then, the Man-Thing moves toward Williams and Richards. Laroque sacrifices himself shouting at the monster and blowing the bomb. The monster survives the flames, but then is absorbed back to the land.

Deviations from the comic book[edit]

The movie changed the setting from the Florida Everglades to Louisiana (though the film was actually made in Australia), and the creature's powers from burning those who "know fear" to being able to manipulate the swamp's vegetation. The movie also makes no mention of A.I.M. or its attempt to steal the super soldier serum. The character is also represented in a significantly more antagonistic light than the comic-book version. Man-Thing's former identity remained Ted Sallis, though in the film he is portrayed as a Native American shaman instead of a scientist. Consequently, the Man-Thing's origin is somewhat different, though the Nexus of All Realities is still involved. Major characters are named after Man-Thing artists Mike Ploog and Val Mayerik and writer Steve Gerber.




The movie was co-produced by Marvel and the Lionsgate subsidiary Artisan Entertainment. Plans to make a film about Man-Thing were first announced in 2001.[4] It was variously considered for a direct-to-video release,[5] or a theatrical release.[6] After the success of Bryan Singer's X-Men (2000), M. Night Shyamalan's Unbreakable (2000) and Sam Raimi's Spider-Man (2002) the film was moved to a theatrical release exploit on the success of superheroes.[7]


In January 2004, Marvel Studios producer Avi Arad said Man-Thing was more of a departure from the original comic than were Marvel's other film character in that it was a horror movie with a menacing central character.[4] That April, he stated that the film had been completed, with the finished print received and waiting to be tested with audiences, after which an exact release date would be determined.[4] The film was rated R for violence, grisly images, language and some sexuality by the MPAA.[4]


Although filming was originally intended to be done in New Orleans, the production to be relocated to Australia for budget reasons.[8] Filming took place from August 2003 to Octobor 2003 [9] [10] in Sydney, Australia including some scenes at the new Serenity Cove Studios at Kurnell, New South Wales.[11] Man-Thing concluded its principle photography in 2003.


Marvel Studios producer Avi Arad said "the lead character in the Man-Thing movie would be a combination of prosthetics and computer-generated effects.[citation needed] From the outset, Man-Thing was intended to be a prosthetic, CG-enhanced creature", Arad told The Continuum during a visit to Marvel Studios So there was a great deal of R&D.... There's positional stuff happening on location, on the set, but at the same time the stuff you don't currently see in camera was always engineered to be enhanced by digital effects. So when you see the movie, hopefully the line is pretty blurry. It's not an all-CG creature.[citation needed]


Special effects makeup was by the Make-Up Effects Group of Australia.[4] The Man-Thing was built as a full-size creature suit, performed by Mark Stevens, a 7'1" (216 cm) Australian actor, ex-wrestler and stuntman.[citation needed]

Although no full-digital Man-Thing model was made due to budgetary constraints, the suit was combined with digital moving branches and tendrils for certain sequences, also well as digital augmentation for the eyes.[citation needed]


The band AzUR (DOG Productions Wayne and Luke joined with Bec And Freddie) recorded the song The Man-Thing Lives Again that played over the end credits of the film. It was supposed to be released as a promo video, but since the movie was in a constant state of flux (financial, script, etc...) and wasn't going to go to theatres (as intended), the music video was pulled lack of budget, and Marvel didn't want to leak advance images of the set & creature costume before the films eventual release.One of the band members has worked on the footage and uploaded a remix on YouTube.[4]


Man-Thing: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by Roger Mason
Released March 17, 2009
Genre Film soundtrack
Length 66:28
Label Nice Spot
Marvel Comics film series soundtrack chronology chronology
Elektra: The Album
Man-Thing: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Fantastic Four: The Album

The film was scored by Roger Mason, and was released on March 17, 2009, in digital download.

Track listing
No. Title Length
1. "Opening/ Swamp"   2:30
2. "Billy & Sarah"   2:23
3. "Old Sheriff's Office"   3:10
4. "People Are Dying"   1:36
5. "Ploog/Something's Out There"   1:42
6. "Asylum/Trouble At The Plant"   2:50
7. "Corley Drops In/ Autopsy"   5:55
8. "Gerber Is Nervous/ Meeting la Rogue"   2:18
9. "Gerber's Body"   1:25
10. "Descent Into Deep Swamp"   2:35
11. "Sacred Land Man/ Dwayne Goes Down"   3:09
12. "Kyle Paddles Upriver/ Snared By la Rogue"   7:35
13. "Ploog's Photos/ Schoolyard"   2:27
14. "Everyone Will Die"   6:14
15. "Pulled Apart Like a Puppet"   2:16
16. "Pete Prepares to Meet his Fate"   5:49
17. "Kyle Might Be In Trouble"   1:22
18. "Finding the Dark Water"   7:33
19. "Spirits of the Dark Water"   0:53
20. "Shist Shoots Kyle & Rene"   4:05
21. "Man Thing Returns to the Swamp"   2:41


Man-Thing had originally been scheduled for release date on August 27, 2004. The US release date was set for Halloween (October 31) 2004,[4] but when Marvel Enterprises released its second quarter financial report, Man-Thing was included in the 2005 line-up with a release date "to be decided. Reportedly, the movie was so bad that the test audience walked out before it was finished. So, Marvel put it back on video in the U.S., but did release it internationally in places like Russia and the United Arab Emirates. It aired on the Sci-Fi Channel as a "Sci-Fi Original" movie, Man-Thing was released April 30, 2005, as a "Sci-Fi Original" on the Sci-Fi Channel.[4]

Home media[edit]

The film was released on DVD on June 14, 2005 in the United States.[12]

In 2007, it was released as a two-disc DVD special edition in several European countries.[citation needed]


Box office[edit]

Spanish theatrical release poster.

Man-Thing reported a substantial loss. While the film was released direct to television in North America, it played theatrically in three International markets where it accumulated $1,123,136 in box-office grosses.[13] On April 28, 2005, Man-Thing opened in Russia and four breakaway republics.[14][15] The film opened on October 26, 2005, in United Arab Emirates.[16] Finally, the film opened in Spain on March 3, 2006.[17]

Critical reception[edit]

Upon its release, Man-Thing received generally negative response and reviews from film critics. On the film-critics aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, it earned 17% positive reviews based on 50 reviews.[18]


  1. ^ "Man-Thing". Box office / business. Retrieved 2 September 2016. 
  2. ^ "Man-Thing". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 25 August 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Schroeder, Darren (2006). "Movie Things > Man-Thing". Archived from the original on January 21, 2015. Retrieved March 3, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Man-Thing Probably Going Straight-to-Video". September 5, 2003. Retrieved July 16, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Screening Schedule by Title > Machuca to Oyster Farmer". American Film Market. November 3–10, 2004. [dead link]
  7. ^ Who Owns the Man-Thing Movie Rights Now?, Octobor 2, 2015
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ "June 2005 DVD releases". 2005. Retrieved June 5, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Man-Thing International Box Office Results". Box Off Mojo. Retrieved July 16, 2016. 
  14. ^ "Man-Thing > Russia-CIS". Archived from the original on March 3, 2015. Retrieved March 3, 2015. 
  15. ^ "Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova, and Russia Box Office, May 6–8 [11 days in release]". Archived from the original on January 15, 2006. 
  16. ^ "Man-Thing > United Arab Emirates". Archived from the original on March 3, 2015. Retrieved March 3, 2015. 
  17. ^ "Man-Thing > Spain". Archived from the original on March 3, 2015. Retrieved March 3, 2015. 
  18. ^ "Man-Thing". Rotten Tomatoes (Flixster). Retrieved January 24, 2015. 

External links[edit]